Friday, March 28, 2008

I'm playing--

maybe Ms. Muse will pay me a visit?

First, I decided to stop stressing over the March TIF challenge. If the project I'm working on now doesn't fit, then so be it. I just drew a blank with the concept, and hanged if I'm going to work in winter colors when spring is starting to make herself felt around here.

Last weekend I decided to take a couple pieces of my tissue-painted fabric and use my Shiva paintstiks over a rubbing plate to see what happened. I liked one better than the other, so that is the one I started with this morning. I've had success in the past just arranging shapes to see what evolves, and that is what I did with three colors of my hand dyed silk organza. I'm going to use these to cover another of the books I have. And this time I decided to be a little more planful in how I cover them, so I've actually cut these to size, with 2" extra on each edge. Here's how they look before I quilt them--

The colors are close, although the green is more obvious than it looks in this picture. I am playing w
ith the settings on my camera, trying to get better at true color and value. It is frustrating at times, because mechanical stuff can drive me crazy. I just want it to work, don't confuse me with details about how it works!

I also have had the itch to dye, so I gave in this morning. I have dyed all
Katy Widger's overdye formulas that use all three primaries, which results in some very interesting neutrals. Today I'm using one color in each dye bath, so I will get some beautiful gradations between yellow and red. What's not to like about "all the colors of a sunset, from pale orange creams, blushes, and golds, to deep fiery reds, brilliant corals, and intense magentas"?? (Katy's description, I love it!!)

But that means I will have to deal with the dreaded red dye pops. I have a new tool in my arsenal for eliminating them:

Katy lists a 'stiff pastry brush' as one option for mixing dyes. I have a collection of stencil brushes I got on sale at JoAnn's- so I decided to give it a try. It seems to work better than anything else I've done yet. I did have to mix, and mix and mix- but I think I ended up with a totally dissolved dye concentrate. Then I filter it through the gold coffee filter (the thing the brush is sitting in), to make sure. I'll know later tonight, since I'm only going to batch these until then. Five values of light red Procion MX, with cotton sateen fabric--

I am becoming partial to less obvious, softer patterning in my hand dyes. So I am using the formulas for solid shade dyeing, but not stirring. Kitty litter boxes make great dye buckets! I've also thrown in some #5 perle cotton thread in each bucket.

And, I'm going to try to paint the edges of my autumn mountains tree this weekend. The light colored batting showing just isn't working for me. I got some Dye-na-Flow at Michael's last weekend, we'll see how it works. I've never used it before, but it seemed the simplest thing to just do edges.

Thanks to everyone who left suggestions about ways to get the inspiration flowing again. Some I'd thought of, others never occurred to me. I just keep reminding myself that this happens to everyone, and it too will pass. But nice to have tools to hopefully help it pass faster!!

1 comment:

Karoda said...

i have a friend saving kitty buckets for me and what a brilliant idea for those red blobbies.

i'm 2 months behind on the TIF...was waiting until the studio was settled but i've ran into stops and starts along the way.